Warning: Tantrum time.
Growing up. my family moved every three to four years. During my childhood, I made no lasting friendships. It wasn’t until social media evolved (high school/ college) that I was able to keep in touch with the friends I’ve made over the years. And even then, I consider only a small handful of those people as my “close” friends (aka friends who know me beyond my Facebook statuses and Instagram pictures).
At nineteen, I moved to Michigan. This was my first major independent move as an adult. And I lived in Michigan for seven years, building (what I thought were) lasting friendships. Then, last summer, I moved to Houston.
I’d never revisited a previous home before and so I was really excited to visit Michigan this last December and see all my friends again.
My trip was for only five days and I felt that I wouldn’t have enough time to see everyone I loved.
By the third day, however, it dawned on me: I have very few Real Friends (right now I can count them on one hand if half the fingers were cut off). Those I thought were my friends really aren’t (I’ll now refer to them as my Fake Friends). And many that I viewed as my “friends” because they were (originally) friends of my Real Friends, are more friends to me than my Fake Friends. These Friends of (my Real) Friends came out and spent time with me, while not a single Fake Friend contacted me and if I contacted them, they had an excuse for not being able to see me (unless they were out of town that is).
As an adult, I’ve developed into the kind of friend who will go out of my way for a friend. I will do almost anything to preserve a relationship with those I love and will be there for them whenever they need me. That is what I consider a Loyal Friend.
Apparently, Loyal Friends are few and far between. I am deeply hurt by every person I thought of as a friend who hasn’t even reached out to me. I’ve been gone for almost five months, and am in town for five days (including the weekend) and I’ve publicly announced my arrival and sent group texts out and so far the only friends who came out to see me were (besides my half a handful of Real Friends) Friends of Friends.
The Tally: I have a handful of Real Friendships, numerous Friends-of-Real-Friends Friendships and even more Fake Friends than I can count.
The Lesson: Don’t waste your energy on Fake Friends. If they’re real they’ll be there. I’m going to focus on my well being and health and stop bending backwards for people who disappear when it’s not convenient for them. Friendship is a mutual meeting of “half-way”. I’ll continue to meet my Real Friends half-way and leave behind the others.